spirit rose a metre and stepped aside
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there's a taste in my mouth
and it's no taste at all

- matt fraction -

I tried to tell my kids who and what Clyde Fowler was to me and had to explain it to them in Harry Potter: He was my Dumbledore and my Snape.

He died on Monday. He was sixty-nine years old. 

An old classmate spent time with him at the end. She called to tell me about it. She told me about his spirit and the room and his mood, how he felt, the things he said, what he did, how he did it. That he art-directed and stage-directed his last days. How he introduced everyone to everyone else, all these people across thirty years that had come to see him, swapping stories as though they'd happened last week instead of the last millennium.  I wrote him a letter, she read it to him. He saw my family. And the thing was, he already knew. He'd kept up, even though I hadn't.

In the letter I said, finally, "thank you."

I can’t tell you what having that chance meant to me, and what hearing about his peaceful departure meant. I think closure is a myth but we can certainly find the psychic strength to move forward; knowing what she told me about Clyde will keep me from never quite being able to say good-bye, to say thank you, to say I love you. 

I think those chances are rare. I think those chances are important.

When i think back to who i was then, to the way i was then, i know, for a fact, i never once treated this girl with kindness. I was not a particularly kind person. And she forgave me all the same. She gave me this amazing gift.

As this is, apparently, the Year I Lose All the Dads, I am so grateful she's a better person than I am, and that I got to say thank you to this man that had so much to do with who and what I became. Because it all started with him.

Hopefully, that includes kinder.

I swear to god this'll be about comics again one day.
- kelly sue deconnick -

I've got an issue of Bitch Planet to wrap up today and some TV stuff to be done, so Imma keep this short. 

Couple of recommendations: 

  • Matt's post on Fargo
  • Orbital Operations from Warren Ellis is always excellent, but the last two issues have been particularly good for structure and process nerds. In one he talks about the Levitz Paradigm (which I first read about here) and in the other he looks at Dan Harmon's story structure clock
  • ...and I was going to recommend Jean Grae's That's Still Not How You Do That, but it looks like it's been taken off Bandcamp? I'm not sure what's going on there. Jean's amazing though and you can check out her other stuff here

On a more personal note, Pretty Deadly 8 came out yesterday and it and Issue 3 are my favorite issues of the series thus far. I hope you'll consider picking it up. I love that book so much. 

And while you're at it, my partner and co-creator on that book also released her first issue of MIRROR where she is handling writing duties and it is as utterly exquisite as you would expect. Click through to the preview below: 


- the cox box -
- by kit cox- 
- get it?- 

It's been just over a year since Snake and I arrived at Milkfed (her criminalmastermindiversary was in January; mine was in December). Both of the shared offices here have gotten slowly redone as Snake and I have settled in and ACTUALLY YOU KNOW WHAT if I were reading this I'd be all YEAH YEAH MAKE WITH THE PICS???

So! Photos! Today: the office Kelly Sue and I share.


There aren't a ton of "before" photos to be found, but that's Kel's desk; mine was a few feet to the left of the orange chair.

See? (Matt and me on onesie day. Kel took that sitting at her desk.) It was cute as shit before we even started moving anything, but there wasn't a lot of space to spread out or hold meetings.


Look at all that space! The built-in bookcase covering that wall made a HUGE difference. We moved our desks to opposite ends of the office -- when we host calls/meetings in here we just spin our chairs around to face each other. 

Here's a closeup of a couple shelves:


Note how THREE DAYS into February she hasn't changed her calendar over from January. Almost like she has all this writing and mom-ing shit to do. That "WHITE MALE TEARS" mug was a Christmas gift to her from Fraction. If you need one, and you do, can be found here. The wishbone hook is elusive, but these guys seem to be carrying it at the moment. Yes, that tape dispenser is a French bulldog. We've all kind of lost our minds over colored pens here lately; there are definitely some of these in that pen pouch. We fight it out over Muji's black 0.5 pens... they're the best we've found for fine points. There's more but I'll stop before the nerding-out-over-office-products thing gets out of hand. 


Yes, that is a page from Bitch Planet! Valentine gave it to me at Rose City Comic Con last year -- it's my first page of comics art and I haven't been able to part with having it in front of me every day for long enough to get it framed. Also, OK, I said I wouldn't talk about any more writing utensils but I LIED and you frankly should've known better than to believe me. Mildliners (in front of that ODY-C #9) seem to be the consensus around here for highlighters in fun colors that don't tend to bleed through a page. Oh! Folks who have been following Kel on the tumbls for a while might remember her Captain Marvel shelf. I adopted (it was more "demanded," if we're being honest) tiny out-of-place Moonstone-as-Ms.-Marvel. She's tiny and out of place under my screen with the business cards and the Harry Potter wand now.


- the snake pit -
(were you expecting something else?)

I, Lauren Elizabeth Claire Auntie Lo Snake Sankovitch, have decided...I might occasionally write a thing. You're welcome.

As a duly elected representative and denizen of the FUN AND COOL OFFICE, I couldn't very well let the decidedly LESS fun and LESS cool office (ahem, see above) hog all the post-reorganization glory. As such...enjoy the visual feast (guest appearance by Intern Peter):

~L Snake
Order & Coffee - An Intern’s Perspective -

Dear Milkfed Newsletter readers… No, that sounds too formal…

Howdy gang… Whoa… rein it in there, man…

Hi guys, 

My name’s Peter, and I’m here to give a few insights into being an Intern at Milkfed Criminal Masterminds.

Who remembers the 90’s? Saturday mornings with the X-Men, Spider-Man, Batman and Superman hour? Seriously guys, that was such an amazing time to be a comic book kid. (And side note, those shows totally hold up!)

But now I’m older, and expected to earn a living. The wonderful part is, you can be both: be that goofy Star Wars-loving, action figure-collecting kid, and deal with adult shit…all without any sort of shame!

I’m in the Milkfed Criminal Masterminds offices right now. Surrounded by the most amazingly creative people I’ve ever met. I mean, I’m always kinda in shock about it all. I’m studying comic books right now at PSU, interning with Matt Fraction and Kelly Sue DeConnick. And it’s about as awesome as it could be.

Keys to Successful Interning: 

  1. Organization. You’re here to listen, learn and participate…and keep track of where all the coffee went… 
  2. Read. Learn about the books you’re working on and the people you’re working with…and what kind of coffee they enjoy.
  3. Drink lots of coffee. (Or tea. Or water. Just so long as it is done with a snarky coffee mug in hand.)

The biggest thing to remember of course, for any of you who are interested in getting into the comics game, is that it is a profession. Treat it seriously. 

Though I’m still a ways away from making a living at this, it feels like I’m on the right track.

~Intern Peter


Hit me or Intern Sasha up on twitter @milkfed_intern or check out the Milkfed Criminal Masterminds page on Facebook for announcements and other bits of randomness.

- retailer roundup -

Tasty morsels on tap this week:

BITCH PLANET #7 - On Sale 2/17/16
SEX CRIMINALS #14 - On Sale 2/17/16
  • THIS SAMMUS VIDEO. (Check out who makes a guest appearance around 0:07!)
  • Our friend Holly does a fundraiser every year for Project Food Basket. You can check it out and donate if you're so inclined; there's also this sweet t-shirt (is that a kraken??!) giving proceeds to the project. The shirts are only up for six more days.
  • Make It Work: Kelly Sue talks with Jessica Abel.
  • This zoo's staff staged a drill for what to do in the event of a zebra escape and it was REALLY SOMETHING.
  • Vox on Bitch Planet 6.
Milkfed Logo by Rian Hughes
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